Fault-tolerant consensus with an abstract MAC layer

Calvin Newport, Peter Robinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, we study fault-tolerant distributed consensus in wireless systems. In more detail, we produce two new randomized algorithms that solve this problem in the abstract MAC layer model, which captures the basic interface and communication guarantees provided by most wireless MAC layers. Our algorithms work for any number of failures, require no advance knowledge of the network participants or network size, and guarantee termination with high probability after a number of broadcasts that are polynomial in the network size. Our first algorithm satisfies the standard agreement property, while our second trades a faster termination guarantee in exchange for a looser agreement property in which most nodes agree on the same value. These are the first known fault-tolerant consensus algorithms for this model. In addition to our main upper bound results, we explore the gap between the abstract MAC layer and the standard asynchronous message passing model by proving fault-tolerant consensus is impossible in the latter in the absence of information regarding the network participants, even if we assume no faults, allow randomized solutions, and provide the algorithm a constant-factor approximation of the network size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication32nd International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2018
EditorsUlrich Schmid, Josef Widder
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959770927
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event32nd International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2018 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Oct 15 2018Oct 19 2018

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
Volume121
ISSN (Print)1868-8969

Conference

Conference32nd International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period10/15/1810/19/18

Keywords

  • Abstract MAC layer
  • Consensus
  • Fault tolerance
  • Wireless networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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